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France Establishes Policy for Vaccination


In anticipation of a fall outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza and experience with the infection in previous years, the French National Agency for Health and Safety (ANSES) has established recommendations for vaccination of flocks:


  • Commercial waterfowl can be vaccinated as a preventive measure
  • All commercial poultry in an area undergoing an outbreak of H5N1 will be vaccinated as an emergency measure to create an immune population
  • Culling will be restricted to affected farms. Flocks within the control zone will not be depleted as in previous years.
  • Vaccines selected for the National Preventive Program are all based on the DIVA principle
  • The Agency may deploy sentinels to detect a presence of virus although this can be accomplished by surveillance of wild migratory birds


The action taken by France to introduce vaccination as opposed to relying on depopulation as the only response is an evident shift within the E.U. from attempted containment to a more practical and progressive approach. 


Highly pathogenic avian influenza should be regarded as the Newcastle disease of the 2020's and should be suppressed, but not eradicated, using combining intensive immunization with biosecurity as in the 1970s and 1980s.